June 12th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Regular readers of the blog will know that Brides Up North fully endorse festival weddings, so much so that we now dedicate several of our wedding fairs to this style of celebration with our epic WEDFEST tour that travelled the north of the country in May.
Fresh on the other side of those uber cool events, we were thrilled to receive the wonderful big day of Michelle and James who demonstrate how it’s done with their fun and fabulous big day in the Yorkshire Dales.
To achieve the colourful and carefree vibe for their festival style wedding, Michelle, James and an army of friends and family descended on their chosen venue with streamers, pompoms and plant chandeliers, transforming its blank canvas into something pretty awesome!
Cue a big, brave, DIY-flavour wedding with bold flamingo and pineapple motifs, tattoos and glitter, a gin bar and mezze-style food.
All of this styled out against the rolling hills of the Dales, plus a timeless La Sposa dress. We spoil you, we really do…
With images by Masha Unwerth
michelle says: We got engaged at home 20th April 2016. James bought a huge bunch of tulips, my favourite flower, and left a trail of petals through the house leading to more tulips spread around the living room. I found him down on one knee with a lovely sapphire engagement ring.
We had two weddings (I know, greedy) – the first was a legal ceremony on the 20th of April, exactly one year to the day we got engaged. This was a smaller affair with a registrar and just our immediate family.
Our second wedding on the 22nd of April with 120 of our nearest and dearest friends and family. It was conducted by two of our closest friends, who wrote the ceremony without our assistance, so there were a couple of surprises!
We got hitched at Natural Retreats in the Yorkshire Dales, and had both our ceremony and reception there. It’s a beautiful site with accommodation for nearly 100 guests. We were able to have a whole weekend of parties and got to spend quality time with everyone instead of feeling rushed. The venue was a blank canvas which we transformed with a small army of volunteers who hung, draped and stuck – they basically built an amazing wedding for us!
We chose a few very loose themes: gin, pineapples and flamingos. We also chose to create three rooms, each with a distinct ‘feel’.
The main ceremony/dance space and bar were as colourful and fun as we could make them with a bit of a festival vibe. We added a photo booth, a glitter and tattoo station and built our own bars from pallets which looked fantastic. James’ friend Pencil Girl created our wedding stationery and we had the design printed into temporary tattoos.
In the dining room we wanted a very clean and classy look with lots of plants instead of flowers. We created our own hanging foliage ‘chandeliers’, built and planted the table centrepieces ourselves and each table was assigned a gin bottle instead of table numbers.
I chose a La Sposa wedding dress from a boutique in Manchester. I decided it was the one for me because of the beautiful detail in the bodice and the plain but flowing skirt and train. The A-line cut suited my shape and I loved wearing it all day!
James did a lot of research into what he wanted to wear and chose to have a suit made by Beggars Run in East London, which he absolutely loved. He accessorised with Ted Baker shoes and socks, a vintage pocket watch (a gift from me) and Tatty Devine cufflinks.
The chief bridesmaid, my best friend Laura, chose a dress from Coast. It had a navy blue top with a turquoise skirt and floral detailing. The dress wasn’t a traditional bridesmaid’s dress but it went perfectly with the relaxed feel of the day. We also had two flower girls who both wore ivory dresses with a navy waist band from Etsy.
May 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
The wait is OVER! #WEDSTIVAL’17 is FINALLY here!
Capesthorne Hall, Congelton Road, Macclesfield
Sunday 21st May 2017, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTIVAL’17 for you and your party.
We’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Big Chief Tipis, Capesthorne Hall, UNVEILED Magazine and the North West’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s original and finest dedicated festival wedding fairs in 2017.
We’ve just celebrated two absolutely EPIC weekends on the trot at Stockeld Park and Ormesby Hall (photos coming very soon!) but we’re not ready to hang up our flower crowns yet… oh no! The WEDFEST’17 TOUR continues!
With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 21st May 2017 Capesthorne Hall will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, vintage MASH tent, a blow up pub (yes really!), a honeymoon bell tent, Pimms, prosecco, street food – and drink, LOTS of drink! – vendors (so stay for lunch and a tipple or ten!), a cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion – including a brilliant designer dress sale and a pop up boutique with gowns starting at just a fraction of the original price! – and 60+ luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures and the grand building itself, come rain or shine (we know you love a bit of drizzle and we come prepared!), we’ve got your inspiration sorted.
Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny!
Use the hashtag #WEDSTIVAL17 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
Images from previous events by Peace Wedding Photography and Jonny Draper Photography.
September 23rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s bride and groom should be awarded some kind of medal for the amount of time and effort that they put into the preparations for their beautiful homemade festival wedding.
Taking place in a lambing shed on the family farm, Becky and Jim roped in lots of family and friends to help transform the space from a sparse barn into a chic rustic backdrop for their big day celebrations.
We just love all the thoughtful and fitting touches that added to their unique day; from a tractor ride to the reception and all the personal décor and entertainment choices, to the fabulous hay bale bride and groom. Seriously guys, nice work!
With images by Lois Photography.
becky says: We got engaged in Reykjavik on New Year’s Eve 2013. Jim had arranged a trip there as a Christmas present – even corresponding with my boss so that I could have the time off work. He proposed at midnight whilst we were standing watching the fireworks outside Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral.
Our wedding date was 18th July 2015. We held our reception at Jim’s parents’ farm (in the lambing shed) so we had to choose a date when lambing time would be over, and which gave us a good couple of weeks to get the place ready!
We had the ceremony at Heaton House Farm in Cheshire, which I’d highly recommend to others. It was perfect for us as we knew we didn’t want a church as neither of us are religious, and we didn’t want a registry office either. Finding somewhere that we could just turn up, get married and go again did prove to be quite difficult as a lot of places expect you to have the whole day there. We initially spoke to Mick from Heaton House at a wedding fair and knew pretty much straight away that the venue was right for us. It’s a working farm as well as a wedding venue, so it made perfect sense!
As Jim and I huge music fans and have been to countless gigs and festivals during the ten years that we’ve been together, the wedding was always going to be very music focussed. I work at a creative agency, so luckily had a team of excellent graphic designers on hand to design the wedding stationery exactly as I wanted it. Our save the date cards were designed to look like gig tickets, and the music theme just rolled from there.
We borrowed two huge speakers from a friend, and spent months compiling different Spotify playlists to play throughout the day. For example, the music playing whilst everyone arrived at the farm for the reception was a selection of different bands that we’ve seen together, so it was pretty diverse! It went from Fleetwood Mac to Wild Beasts to Bon Iver, so whilst it wasn’t ‘traditional wedding music’ it had a very special significance to us – and it did get a little bit more mainstream for the evening to make sure the dancefloor was full!
Because we had so much space to play with, we decided to use one of the fields for people to camp in, which then led us onto a festival theme. I think there was around 30 tents in all – including one for us!
I was never really bothered about a set colour scheme. People kept asking me about it and telling me I should have one, but it didn’t ever seem like something that was necessary to our plans. I suppose the colour palette was more pastel shades than anything, but really, as long as the colours complemented each other, I wasn’t that fussy!
May 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime
As couples continue to get creative with their big days the options on styling, venue and setting seem almost endless.
So how’s a girl (and guy) to choose? The time of the year will ultimately play a part with couples less keen to take their celebrations outdoors during the colder months. Also, how much effort and spends a couple want to put into the styling will need to be considered – so a lavish five star hotel will generally not need as much décor as say a barn or tipi wedding, though the later allows for far more creativity and freedom.
Then there’s accommodation and catering to think about – would you want to go traditional fine dining or for something a little more alternative, such as a barbecue, afternoon tea or sharing boards?
Keen to offer inspiration for all couples, we here at Brides Up North HQ have recently expanded our luxury wedding exhibition offering to include a number of fabulous outdoor festival themed wedding fairs, in addition to our existing events held in grand and exclusive venues across the north.
With all this in mind, today we’re debating two very different styles of weddings that would tick the boxes for us Brides Up North gals!
rachel says: indoor elegance
I’m continuously super impressed by couples’ ability to think outside the box and do their big day their way with celebrations that are both individual and inventive. That said, I always find myself drawn to the simple and timeless weddings that have more of a traditional vibe.
Maybe I just don’t have the creative vision that others do, or maybe it’s growing up with thoughts of the perfect princess-like wedding in my head?
I’m personally not one for gimmicks, which is why I like the simplicity of a traditional wedding and for such an important occasion I like the safety of the indoors. I’m the type of girl that visits the hairdressers on a clear sky, sunny day and yet always finds myself in a relentless downpour when I leave – for my wedding I just don’t think I could take the risk.
I’d still want to pick a venue with lovely grounds in which elements such as the drinks reception could take place, though the majority of the proceedings would be under cover.
I’m thinking a beautifully decorated period venue with lots of natural light during the day and lit by romantic candlelight at night. I’d love a grand dining room with long tables anchored by stunning floral arrangements down the centre, interspersed with pillar candles and tea lights. And as a foodie, an elegant three-course meal would be right up my street before dancing the night away.
Overall the real beauty of an indoor wedding for me can be the convenience of on-site accommodation, which you don’t usually get when hosting a wedding outdoors. This is not only for the bonus of getting ready at the venue on the morning of the wedding, but also for guests to nip back to and freshen up throughout the day and, of course, for everyone to easily retire (stagger) to at the end of the night. Plus, thankfully it means just a short crawl back to the dining room for breakfast with your nearest and dearest the following day.
julia says: outdoor rustic
I’ve always been an “indoor kinda girl”, generally preferring five star boutique hotels to camping or glamping. So, when it came to my wedding day, I followed suit, and it was indoor luxury all the way.
Although I wouldn’t change anything about my own big day, I’ve recently found my head turned by other types of celebration, and have felt the distinct draw of the great outdoors.
It helps that we’re smack bang in the middle of our series of Brides Up North Festival Wedding Fairs, and that the sun is shining outside as I write this, but as I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many fantastic festival style and outdoor suppliers over the past year in the build up to our huge events that I’ve realised that I might have been too hasty in my judgment.
Firstly, the huge sailcloth and tipi tents available for your outdoor wedding are not akin to the thin, freezing tents that stuck to my face during my Duke Of Edinburgh days (enough to put me off hiking for life!). These are warm and weatherproof structures that are great in all weathers – cool in the summer, warm in the winter – and withstand even the most horrid weather conditions. Fun and fabulous, these tents add a stylish and different edge to your wedding celebration before it even starts.
Secondly, with an outdoor wedding comes loads of extra space for quirky extras like garden games, styling details, Prosecco vans (I’ve just discovered the sheer joy of these!), vintage caravan photo booths and even huge white bouncy castles. What’s not to love?
I may be a little biased at the moment… you might have noticed that we are still on a high from WEDSTOCK’16 last weekend and looking ahead with glee to WEDSTIVAL’16 at Capesthorne Hall next Sunday 22nd May (find out more and register here)… but if you come prepared, to me an outdoor celebration has very little downside, even in a downpour. Embrace the wellies, collect your Prosecco before passing GO! and look forward to some awesome wedding photos afterwards!
what you said on social
Alana says: “I’m currently planning an outdoor wedding and I’m loving making lots of the decoration for the marquee, with the help of friends and family. It means we can have the wedding exactly as we want it and feel the personal, homemade touches will make it all the more memorable.”
Jodie says: “I’m at the beginning of the wedding planning and am totally torn! I’d always thought I would have a church wedding followed by a lovely hotel reception but seeing more outdoor weddings has got me a tipi wedding would be really cool and a little different. Help!”
Emma says: “We are sticking to tradition with an indoor wedding at an historic venue with lots of character. Instead of adding lots of details we will be letting the venue speak for itself and hope to make use of its gorgeous grounds for the drinks reception, though have a Plan B just in case the unpredictable British weather strikes.”
May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Stockeld Park, Harrogate Road, Wetherby, LS22 4AN
Sunday 8th May 2016, 11am till 4pm
FREE entry for registered brides plus a FREE VIP media pack whilst stocks last.
Ladies and gents, it’s time. It’s #WEDSTOCK16! And we can’t wait to see you there!
Brides Up North in association with Shades, Tipi Chic, Curious Tent Hire, Stockeld Park and Yorkshire’s finest wedding industry suppliers are proud to host the UK’s first dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibition in 2016. With free entry for you and your bridal party and open 11am till 4pm, on Sunday 8th May 2016 Stockeld Park will be transformed into a wedding wonderland!
There’ll be a huge sail cloth tent, tipi hats, an arched wedding tent, a vintage MASH tent, bell tents, an Indian cupola tent, chill out areas, a Pimm’s tent, street food vendors (so stay for lunch!), lakeside cafe, picnic area, cars and campers, live music, bridal fashion, a bloom bar, and 60 luxury wedding suppliers covering absolutely all the details to make all your festival wedding planning ideas a reality.
All under cover in our warm and weatherproof outdoor wedding structures, come rain or shine, we’ve got your inspiration sorted. Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… this is set to be an event to remember, and it won’t cost you or your wedding party a penny
Use the hashtag #WEDSTOCK16 to follow the event build up across all our social media feeds.
bride to be?
Please register for free entry to WEDSTOCK16 for you and your party.
We’re also giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be media packs, filled with glossy magazines and treats from Brides Up North. As demand is high, to pick up your media pack all you need to do is fill in the form below. While stocks last.
Images by Darren Mack.
August 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
Hazel and Adam stamped their personalities all over their unique & beautiful wedding under canvas, and that’s just the way we like it here at Brides Up North.
What better way to start the week than a wedding involving lots of pretty touches, vintage finds, brilliant blooms and a first night spent sleeping in a chicken hat… oh, yes. Read on, read on…
With images by Brides Up North sponsor JB Creatives.
hazel says: We got engaged in a wine bar in London, the day before we went on holiday. My sister had just come back from a year in Canada, and as hard as Adam tried to get rid of her, we hadn’t seen each other in ages, so in the end he had to tell her to go and wait in the toilets while he proposed!
We were married on October 4th 2014 – we wanted to get married while Adam’s sister who lives in New Zealand was back in the country. We got married in St. Helen’s church in Escrick, just outside of York. We absolutely loved the church, and it was close to where we held our reception. Helen at Escrick Park was absolutely fantastic, as were Papakata who provided the teepees. They both did such a great job of making our day so special, perfect and unique to us.
Our venue was a field – this meant that we could choose absolutely every detail ourselves and make our day exactly as we wanted. It meant some very long days in the run up, and I never expected my wedding to include a lesson in how to run a generator or heavy lifting of fridges, but it was 100% worth it!
We didn’t want a strict style or colour scheme – just things that we liked. I guess you could say that we went for a vintage theme, but really we just picked the things that we thought looked nice! We deliberately avoided a strict colour scheme, and just went with pastels where colour was required.
I chose a lace wedding dress from an outlet in Northallerton. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress I knew would inevitably end up covered in grass and mud – which it did!
Adam wore suit trousers, a shirt and waistcoat from Next. He tried on a couple of suits but they looked too formal and we wanted a more relaxed style.
The groomsmen wore the same as Adam, but with different coloured ties, and I only had my sister as a bridesmaid. This made it much easier, and she just picked a dress that she liked!
We hired VW campervans to sleep in at the teepees, and ended up using one to transport me to the church too. They were from The Campervan Company in Thirsk.
Jane Beadnell from JB Creatives was our photographer, she was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and she takes brilliant photos. She did an amazing job and captured our day perfectly in a style that really suited the wedding itself. We had so many lovely comments from our guests about how hard she worked and the lovely photos.
My bouquet was made up predominantly of roses, hydrangea, and freesias. The flowers were provided by another friend – Sarah Richardson at Leafy Couture, she also did an amazing job, with our very limited knowledge of flowers and vague descriptions of what we liked!
The flowers for the reception were also provided by Leafy Couture – again lots of roses and freesias – in mini milk bottles on the tables. We also decorated with lots of home made bunting.
Adam was in charge of the favours – he had a boy’s night in and made them all! Everyone had a big bag of marshmallows to toast on the open fires, and a jar of hot chocolate to take home and help them through the morning after!
We had an afternoon tea, so rather than more cake we had wheels of cheese provided by Love Cheese in York. We are both big cheese fans, and we served it up after the afternoon tea with a glass of port (or 3!) – so it was great to see the guests tucking into it.
Katie & Maz at The Flax & Twine in York provided our catering – they were amazing, providing solutions to Adam’s crazy ideas and stopping him when they got out of control – he desperately wanted to make and serve crepes to all 130 guests personally!! In the end we settled for afternoon tea, followed by the cheese from our “cake” then later in the evening we had a hogroast provided by The Hog & Apple in York, and finally a waffle station – dreamt up by Adam and spectacularly brought to life by Katie & Maz from their vintage caravan… amazing! We provided all of the drinks, the wine was Cono Sur Bicicleta because Adam works in a bike shop and all of the bottles had a bicycle on them, and then we put on four beers – two from North Wales where my dad’s family is from, and two from the local York Brewery!
We tried to have lots of special touches – we painstakingly collected all of the crockery for the afternoon tea, and it included a set my granny was given as a wedding present over 60 years ago! We made lots of things too, all of the bunting, the bar, the photo booth, the coconut shy, the table plan was made of ladders covered in things that were important to us both, and the typewriter we used to write the invitations and sewing machine that made all of the bunting made an appearance too!
In the evening we had a ceilidh provided by the Dark Horse Ceilidh Band from Harrogate – they were great fun, then we hooked up the ipod for the rest of the evening.
The whole day was amazing, but the end was our favourite. We waved off our last guests on to a coach at 1am, and then had the teepee all to ourselves to reflect on the day. We were meant to sleep in the campervan, but Adam forgot to bring the duvet and the keys went home with a guest. By this point, it was pretty cold in the teepees, so I slept in my wedding dress, Adam slept in his suit, and then we raided the fancy dress box from our photo booth for extra warmth. I’m pretty sure there are no other brides that can claim to have spent their wedding night in their dress, an army camouflage jacket and a chicken hat!
Straight after the wedding we spent a week in the Dales in the camper van we had hired – mostly catching up on sleep and recovering from doing so much in the run up to the wedding. We then had 2 weeks in South Africa in January which was absolutely fantastic – the highlight of which was a 2 night stay in a tree house.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t leave too much to the last minute! The night before the wedding I was up late refining the ipod playlist, and Adam arrived at the church with the decorations after the guests did! Ooops!
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